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The Legacy of Tito Santana [Rare Videos]

Photo Credit: Steve Taylor 1986

Born Merced Solis, but known to millions of professional wrestling fans as Tito Santana, he was one of the most popular wrestlers in the 1980s. While in the World Wrestling Federation, Santana held the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship (2 times), and the WWF Tag Team Championship (2 times). Santana also was the King of the Ring tournament winner, held on October 14, 1989, in Providence Rhode Island. On that night Santana gained victories over Bad News Brown, The Warlord, Akeem, and his former tag team partner Rick Martel. Later recognized in 2004 by the WWE as a member their Hall of Fame, Santana has been involved with professional wrestling since 1977.

Outside the WWE, Santana won the ECW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time), AWF Heavyweight Championship (2 times), IWCCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time),
UCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time), USA Pro Heavyweight Championship (1 time), and the RWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time).

Merced Solis and Viola Solis, Texas 1969
From humble beginnings in south Texas, the man who would become Tito Santana was a Mexican-American migrant worker as a child picking asparagus in Illinois, strawberries in Wisconsin, and tomatoes in Indiana. Santana didn't attend school regularly until he was a freshman in high school in Mission, Texas. After high school, Santana attended West Texas State University where he was a football teammate with future WWE Hall of Famer Tully Blanchard. In 2008, Santana authored his wrestling memories in the book, Tito Santana's Tales From the Ring.

Below are SIX rare videos:

1) Merced Solis (known then as Richard Blood) vs Charlie Fulton.
July 1978 

2) Tito Santana vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine
July 1985 Intercontinental Championship Match ending.

3) Piper's Pit Interview with Tito Santana from August 1985.

4) Tito Santana Promo for an event at the Cow Palace in 1988.

5) Tito Santana's 2004 WWE Hall of Fame Induction

6) CBS News report on Tito Santana from June 2013.

Photo Credit: Steve Taylor 1986

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